California Employers Face New Notice Requirement for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Time Off

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has published a new form that must be added to the growing list of documents that employers are required to provide to employees at the time of hire.

The new form refers to employees’ rights under California Labor Code Section 230.1 relating to protections of employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking. Last October, we notified California employers about this new law amending Section 230.1, Assembly Bill (AB) 2337. The amended law requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide an employee with written notice of his or her rights to take time off for the following purposes:

  1. “To seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  2. To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  3. To obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  4. To participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including temporary or permanent relocation.”

The law requires employers to provide the notice “to new employees upon hire and to other employees upon request.”

As we reported previously, employers were not required to distribute this information until the California Labor Commissioner published a form employers could use to comply with the law. The law gave the Labor Commissioner until “on or before July 1, 2017” to develop and post the form.

As required by AB 2337, the Labor Commissioner’s office recently released the notice. The DLSE has made both an English and Spanish version of the notice available on its website. The notice also contains information on employees’ rights to reasonable accommodation and to be free from retaliation and discrimination.

Finally, the new law clarifies that employers that do not use the Labor Commissioner’s notice may use an alternative that is “substantially similar in content and clarity to the form developed by the Labor Commissioner.”

This post was written by Christopher W. Olmsted and Hera S. Arsen of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Read more legal analysis on the National Law Review.